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Making the Best of the Worst: 4 Tips for Financial Recovery after an Accident

Following a car accident, your first thought is most likely not going to be how much the collision is going to cost you. However, within a few days, you may find the bills overwhelming, particularly if this is your first major unexpected expense as a young adult. These four tips can help you recover financially once you have started to heal physically and emotionally.

Check with Insurance

If you have any type of automobile insurance, you first need to find out what they will cover for you. Depending on the amount of fault you shared in the collision, and the type of coverage you have, your insurance company will determine how much of the repair or replacement expenses they will cover for your vehicle. They may also cover roadside assistance, rental cars and medical expenses to a certain amount. A key factor is whether you have collision, comprehensive or just liability insurance. See: The Ins and Outs of Car Insurance for more info.

Choose Emergency Funding over Credit

Perhaps you have had time to build up an emergency fund of at least $1,000 in the months leading up to your collision. If you have an emergency fund in place, this is the time to use it rather than choosing to use your credit cards. Also, opt for borrowing money from friends or family on a short-term basis rather than opening a new credit card or getting a loan, which can slam you with huge interest rates.

Find Ways to Rework a Budget

If you have a few hundred dollars of expenses or deductibles that you cannot cover with savings, you may be able to find a way to rework your budget for the month to meet your financial obligations. Consider decreasing the amount you go out to eat or the amount you spend on personal choice items, such as salon appointments. You may be able to increase your income for the next month or two by picking up a short-term side job.

Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Whether or not the collision was deemed your fault, a personal injury lawyer can work with you to determine if you can be awarded money for the accident if you were injured. A lawyer can look at the insurance company’s determinations to see if they were fair or can help speed up the repayment process. These lawyers can also negotiate medical bills and can help with any lawsuits you may face.

Your first major car accident can be a very stressful time. You may feel in shock from the overwhelming physical and mental blows. Whether or not you were the one at fault, you will most likely find yourself with huge bills for repairing or replacing your vehicle and for any health care that you required. Arm yourself with this knowledge that can help you recover financially and land on your feet once again.

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